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Cardamom and Nutmeg Waffles with Minted Strawberries: Our Successes

May 9th, 2012

We women are constantly reminding each other that we support one another. We welcome and share each other’s ideas. We compliment each other on our clothing choices and haircuts. We boast about each other’s cooking skills. We raise a glass to each other’s promotions, raises, and career accomplishments. We tell each other that we all have a choice to be a single working woman, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom. We see other women’s successes as our own, and as a celebration of woman-kind. Or, do we?

I tend to think of myself as both a ‘girl’s girl’ and a ‘guy’s girl.’ I have plenty of lady friends, and a handful of male buds. I relish girls’ nights, love to network with power women, and often use my voice on social media to promote awesome things fellow women are doing that I believe emphasize sisterhood, and squash certain male opinions that women can’t do some things as well as men. But, this article reminded me that there’s one quality that tends to creep up on women (and, equally, men) that kills our very best intentions. That quality is jealousy.

You know how you might wish you had someone else’s job, or their kitchen, or their perfectly toned legs, or their relationship with their husband/sister/mother/brother? There’s a healthy level of wishful thinking and then there’s the crash and burn jealous route. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been there! And I bet you have, too. But if there’s one sure way to set us back and ruin this whole concept of ‘community’ we form — in person and online — it’s being green with envy over what someone else has.

Lately, I’ve been trying to be really conscious of surrounding myself with women (and men, to be fair) who are positive thinkers, who want me to succeed, and who want to share their successes with me not because they want to make me jealous, but because they want us to feel this amazing energy together. We share ideas and connections. We introduce each other to people we think are kindred spirits. We make each other feel beautiful. We splurge on each other with our time, with our food, with our drinks. We take care of each other.

My girlfriends and I get together for dinner and breakfast dates, cocktails, and hikes. One of the best ways to enjoy each other’s company, and to get the words flowing is to get a few of your favorite people (no, they don’t all need to be ladies; men, you, too, can embrace your softer side!) around the kitchen table for fancy-feeling breakfast. I’ve had waffles on my mind for months. Everywhere I looked, they seemed to be staring at me. I finally decided it was time to order a waffle maker, and this was one of the first recipes I made.

To make it a little more celebratory, I pulled together a little fruit topping (minted strawberries), inspired by my friend Kimberley. Thank you to Melissa of thefauxMartha for sharing the link to this commanding birch tree slice, and nudging my decision to purchase it. Melissa’s photos are always so beautifully styled, and I thought it was really cool of her to share the source of this little gem of a prop on Twitter. It’s an amazing table setting, in addition to being a food prop!

Let’s start actually supporting each other, friends, instead of just saying we are.

P.S. Did you catch the episode of Mad Men in which Megan tells Peggy that the guys loved her idea? I LOVED Peggy’s reaction.
P.P.S. You know the woman who’s supported you through more than anyone else? She may be your mother, your grandmother, your sister or a friend. This Mother’s Day, invite her over for some waffles, and tell her why you’re a better person because of her.

Cardamom and Nutmeg Waffles with Minted Strawberries
*serves 4
Basic waffle batter recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of low-fat buttermilk, plus more to thin out the batter (if needed)
1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cardamom pod, seeds removed and finely ground
1/4 teaspoon of freshly-grated nutmeg

*minted strawberries, to serve
oil, for greasing the waffle iron

1. Place a baking sheet in your oven and preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
2. Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. In large bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, and eggs, whisking until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mix until the batter is just combined. The batter should be thick, but you can thin it out with a little bit of buttermilk, if you like. I found that thinning the batter too much makes the waffles a bit softer and less crunchy on the outside.
2. Brush your waffle iron with oil and heat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour about 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup of batter into your iron (the amount you pour in will depend on your iron; you want to make sure you leave an inch or so border around to allow the batter to spread).
3. Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the top of the waffle iron lifts easily and the waffles are crisp and golden brown on the outside.
4. Transfer cooked waffles to the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm as you make more.
5. Top waffles with minted strawberries and serve with maple syrup.

*For the minted strawberries

1 cup of thinly sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon of sugar, or vanilla sugar
1/2 tablespoon of freshly-chopped mint leaves

Toss all of the ingredients together and let sit while you prepare the waffles.

Musical Pairings: The American Analog Set – Know By Heart + Cardamom and Nutmeg Waffles with Minted Strawberries

There’s more on the Turntable.

  • Jesse

    So, hypothetically, lets say I don’t have cardamom pods but I DO have ground cardamom. How much should I use? Just a pinch?

  • Kasey

    Hi Jesse, I would use 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom, depending on your taste for it. I find that whole cardamom pods are much more pungent, but personally, I love the flavor!

  • Rachel

    I feel like I’ve been caught in the act. Jealousy – usually of other women and some aspect of their lives/careers/bodies – creeps into my thoughts on an embarrasingly regular basis. From now on I’ll try to train myself to think of waffles whenever that happens.
    Waffles=my mom’s Light and Crisp Waffles=weekend mornings=happiness.
    Forgive my cheesyness, but cardaMOM is always welcome in my kitchen : )

  • Julie

    I love the idea of waffles for mother’s day! The only ingredient missing to make her even happier is maple syrup! Yes, that’s definitely what I am gonna cook this weekend! (by the way, I get my Maple syrup (organic) online with Rouge Maple and they offer the opportunity to ADOPT a maple tree – yes! You read it right! – so that you receive maple products from your own maple tree!) That’s another idea for mother’s day gift!

  • Elizabeth

    Great post! It can be so easy to be jealous, or fall into competitive patterns, I’ve been trying to be especially conscious of that lately and remind myself that I’m finding my own way and that’s a success in itself. That said, can I be jealous of those perfect waffles? Cause I am.

  • NicoleD

    I’ve been thinking about this subject lately, too, and I agree with everything you’ve said. It is important to surround yourself with people that are positive and supportive and to be a positive and supportive friend in return. This tendency is a shame, but you’re right, we’ve all been there. Nice job on these waffles! Are you so excited to have your waffle maker??!!

  • sara

    great post! But oh goodness those waffles look perfect! Hugh loves waffles but we haven’t purchased a waffle iron as I’m afraid it wouldn’t be used. I need to get over this. All to say, yours are stunning.

  • Cookie and Kate

    I hear you on this one. I’m surrounded by positive, supportive girl friends (both in the real world and online) and I’m so thankful for them. I try to support them all right back, but sometimes I feel that jealousy creep in… and my perfectionistic ways are no help. I try my best to squash those feelings right then and there! Your waffles look killer. Cardamom, strawberries and mint… amazing.

  • Kasey

    Julie, while maple syrup doesn’t go INTO the recipe, you should definitely drizzle your waffles with it (I noted it in the recipe :) ). I will definitely have to check out Rouge Maple – that sounds like a fabulous idea!

  • Kasey

    I’m glad I’m not the only one to catch myself falling into a competitive pattern. I think the best we can do is be conscious of it! You can be jealous of my waffles, though, I think that falls into the realm of ‘healthy jealousy’! P.S. I’m excited to meet you in a few weeks in NYC!!

  • Kasey

    There’s something in the water! And, YES, I am SO excited about my waffle maker! Now that I have it, I want to make waffles all the time. Super healthy addiction, I know.

  • Kasey

    Thanks, lady! Funny you mention the waffles looking perfect, because I actually kinda love when the batter doesn’t flow all the way to the edge, and they have those scraggly, crispy bits falling off. Weird thing is, when you pour batter into a waffle maker, it mysteriously makes uniform waffles! The same cannot be said of cookies :) I’ve now used my waffle maker a total of about 3 times…and even for those three, it was well worth the $25!

  • Kasey

    I pretty much think cardamom is magic. Recently, I’ve been adding it to virtually all of my baked goods. With jealous feelings, I’m right there with you. They start to creep up and I try to squash. One of the best ways I’ve been able to quell them is to remind myself how lucky I already am! Can’t wait to give you an in-person hug in a few weeks and geek out in real life!

  • Jeanine

    2 things — I’m jealous right now of your waffle :)

    And I’ve been also craving cardamom in sweet foods lately – nice take on adding it into this!

  • sarah kieffer

    I’ve had to work hard on this issue my whole life, and at 33 finally feel like I’m in good head space about it, in my ‘real’, daily life. I find the more social media I attend to everyday, however, the more I find myself struggling with jealousy again. I’ve been trying to really process that, and thankful I learned good methods along the way to work through it; get over it. I am glad you posted about this! and weren’t afraid of the subject. {I always love coming to this space}.

    And the waffles! They look beautiful.

  • Stephanie

    Kase, I thought you hate “brunch”?! :-) But as a lover of it (and especially of making nice ones at home), I’m excited about this recipe! If it’s half as good as your brioche french toast, it’ll be awesome.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    It is so important to surround ourselves with “positive thinkers”. It’s how we can successfully move forward in life.

    Now, onto these waffles… I’m not even a waffle guy, but damn do these look wonderful.

  • Kasey

    Hahaha. I can’t wait to see ways you’re using cardamom, Jeanine!

  • Kasey

    Ehhhh…we all have to work on ourselves, I think…pretty much indefinitely, right? I think it’s ok to struggle with jealousy – it’s human nature! But, when the beast gets out of control, it’s important to know how to lock the cage door. And thank you, about your comment on the space. That means a lot to me, Sarah!

  • Kasey

    Caught red-handed! I’m sorta, slowly coming around to brunch. Mostly because I feel like I *have* to! Everyone loooooves brunch. But, you know me well – I prefer breakfast – the earlier I can eat, the better :)

  • Kasey

    Amen, brother! I’m not really a ‘waffle girl’ but these days, I can’t help myself. P.S. Your Italy trip looks AMAZING! Is it ok to admit I’m a teensy weensy bit jealous? ;)

  • Jacqui

    Beautifully written. I try keeping myself surrounded by what I refer to as my “feel good people,” they keep me in balance. And I feel like I was seeing waffles everywhere lately too. Then I made some and put my waffle maker right back up on the high shelf when I was done. They were delicious, for sure, I just hate cleaning the darn thing! Although there is something about those crispy edges, am I right?!

  • Kasey

    Thank you, Jacqui! Can I just take a moment to tell you how beautiful your blog is! I’ve been reading for a few months now and can’t get enough. I think the beauty of the waffle maker is that it is compact enough to justify buying for the occasional weekend splurge. I am WITH YOU on the crispy edges. Yes!

  • Shannalee

    OH my goodness, Kasey. This post is spot-on and so right. Love the way you describe, so truthfully, the common envy we women battle and also the way you plan to fight it, by surrounding yourself with positive voices and trying to be one yourself. Really good.

  • Ally

    Wow I completely love how you pair your recipes with a playlist. How brilliant are you!?

  • Kasey

    Thank you, Shannalee! I think it’s human nature to compare, but you put it so well: “surrounding yourself with positive voices and trying to be one yourself” – it’s the best we can do! xo

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Ally! That makes my day!

  • Branappetit

    This is beautiful – all of it. The words, the energy, the waffles. I totally agree about having positive people in your life and have been trying to do the same. It makes such an incredible difference.

  • Skavianian

    Very true to the way you actually are as a friend :) love u!

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  • Kickpleat

    In my 20s I pretty much hung around guys as best friends because of all the weird competitive-ness that I felt with girls, but then I started finding all kinds of amazing women and found that it’s pretty easy to be friends with other women. And I’d love to eat up that plate of waffles with strawberries. I’m waiting for strawberry season to hit here!

  • Kasey

    Thank you so much! Hooray for positivity and light. It certainly does make the world better.

  • Kasey

    I love you!

  • Kasey

    I never actively avoided women, but at some point I started to realize that there were just some out there that I did not need to be friends with. To waffles and friendship – with positive folks. Hope those strawberries arrive soon.

  • Sarah

    I made these for a bunch with some girlfriends (since our moms live far away). We had them with raspberries and blueberries since I couldn’t find strawberries at the grocery store. (Weird…..must be a Vermont thing?) They were WONDERFUL! Great recipe!

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  • Kasey

    That’s wonderful, Sarah! Thank you so much for letting me know – always love to hear when a recipe is enjoyed by a reader. Also, what a lovely idea to get together with a few girlfriends on Mother’s Day. I bet raspberries and blueberries were just as lovely on these waffles! x